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Walking holidays in the Dordogne, France

Updated on April 10, 2016

Panoramic: Puy de la vache

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Aquitaine including the Dordogne region in brown
Aquitaine including the Dordogne region in brown | Source

So where is the Dordogne?

The Dordogne is the 24th Department of France, within the Region of Aquitaine in southern western France.

The Dordogne is divided into 4 parts by its old medieval name of Perigord. The history of the place is to be found in most travel guides.

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The four regions of Perigord

You've got four main areas that are all very different!

These are traditionally known as the Perigord and are split into:

  • Perigord Noir (black)
  • Perigord Poupre (purple)
  • Perigord Vert (green)
  • Perigord Blanc (white)

Each is very different from the next.

Beautiful walks in wonderful scenery

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Perigord vert region

The French version of Google Maps is a walkers tool

French Trails

The French take walking very seriously. The classic linear trails, the Grandes Randonnées (GR) – some 40,000 miles of them, carry you from one end of the country to the other are kept in good order and are well-marked. Others are not so well maintained and marked. However, if you follow the white flashes over red daubed on trees, posts and rocks you'll be ok.

There are also circular routes round given regions, and shorter, day-long routes (GRP and PR, respectively) covering 72,000 miles. The best guides to these are topo-guides, some of them in e-form (ffrandonnee.fr – though the site is in French only). Alternatively, almost every tourist office in the region offers guides to walking.

A good general introduction to walks on the French Tourist Board’s site at uk.franceguide.com/what-to-do/nature/hiking will set you in good stead.

Types of walks

Long distance walking tracks across France are called Grandes Randonnées (GRs).

Tracks that loop around through a particular area are called Grandes Randonnées du Pays (GRPs).

Shorter tracks are Promenades et Randonnées (PRs).

There are colour-coded markings for these – a red and white stripe for GRs, red and yellow for GRPs and yellow for PRs – and there are three symbols: “straight ahead”, “turn” and “go back”. Various other colours are used for local walks. Check with Marie or local tourist office

Topoguides.

A full list of available topo-guides can be seen and bought on the FFRP website, where there is also a map showing all GRs and GRPs. A useful site for general information about GRs is GR-Infos.

Breathtaking views abound

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    • Susan Hambidge profile image

      Susan Hambidge 2 years ago from Hertfordshire, England

      Very interesting. I'm hoping to go to this region in September. Thank you

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